Love in Action
Report from Thailand
Serving Others is Serving Ourselves
By the Bangkok Relief Team (Originally in Thai)
At the end of 2005, two weeks of heavy rain caused extensive flooding, landslides and loss of life in Thailand as many regions were buried under water or mud, prompting Thai officials to declare nine southern provinces disaster zones.
In response to the calamity, from December 19 to 30 members of The Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association from several countries conducted a humanitarian aid operation in Nakhon Si Thammarat, Songkhla, Pattani, Narathiwat, Yala and Phatthalung Province, during which they distributed over 5,000 packages of relief supplies along with spiritual information.
To begin the project, on December19 the initiates purchased rice, drinking water, milk, nuts, powdered milk, crackers, medicine and sanitary products with 300,000 Thai Baht provided by Master, and then loaded the items into two transport vehicles. Next, well after midnight, eleven volunteers embarked on a ten-hour journey from the Bangkok Center to Nakhon Si Thammarat Province. And upon arriving at the house of a Convenient Method practitioner, the team assembled the items into their first batch of relief packages.
The initiates then traveled to several locations to distribute the aid, and government officials such as mayors and heads of villages willingly accepted the supplies and even assisted the workers in the distribution process. In some areas the team was forced to travel by boat since high water levels had left entire communities completely submerged. For instance, in Phatthalung Province severe flooding had turned the landscape into an island-like setting, which left victims stranded and disconnected from the outside world.
Despite the bleak conditions, many victims were extremely happy to see the initiates and waited patiently in line to receive their goods. While the downpour continued, the relief workers could feel the villagers’ gratitude as they were eager to take pictures with the team. And amazingly, many victims came to obtain Master’s sample booklets before receiving their relief supplies. Some even said that after reading the booklets, they planned to share them with their neighbors.
In Phatthalung Province, a sixty-year-old man from a remote village walked straight to Master’s picture and remained in a trance-like state for a long period while gazing at it. Afterwards he requested more information about Master, and as he left, embraced a sample booklet. Another gentleman was so touched by Master’s presents that he approached the relief group to inquire about how to contact the Bangkok Center.
Then on Christmas Day, a team of initiates traveled to six villages in Narathiwat Province, where no rescue team had yet visited and the situation was politically unstable so the locals were still in difficulty and awaiting help. Under Master’s protection, the team traveled to the needy places via a military truck guarded by many soldiers. A second team also distributed relief items to flood victims in three villages in Songkhla Province, and from December 26-29 the initiates continued the distribution operation in many areas of Yala Province, Phatthalung Province and Songkhla Province. And much to their surprise, in several places the residents were keenly interested in reading the sample booklets. In fact, one villager remarked, “I’m very impressed with Master’s picture and I will treasure the sample booklet as a valuable keepsake.”
Thus, through Master’s boundless love, both the material and spiritual desires of thousands of needy flood victims were met through the 2005 Thailand flood relief effort as fellow initiates from Malaysia, Canada, Hungary and Singapore aided the local practitioners. The volunteers who took part in the project were able to perform their tasks efficiently and with deep, unconditional affection for their fellow human beings and so would like to thank our beloved Master, Who gave them the blessed opportunity to serve others and develop spiritually. ♥
Expenditures by the Supreme Master Ching Hai and Her Association for Aid to Flood Victims in Southern Thailand